There were so many highlights across the School this week, but a personal highlight for me was having the opportunity to share information about our world class Kindergarten Program with auditors from the Quality Assessment and Regulation Division of the Department of Education and Training. This audit is part of the way in which we can ensure continuous improvement in our Kindergarten Service and corresponds with our desire to deliver best practice right across the School. Next week on Tuesday the auditors will spend a day in the Kindergarten observing the Program first hand and I know that they will be impressed with our educators and our curriculum.
This week the federal budget was released and as expected, there were no surprises or major announcements for Independent schools. This does not mean that the budget did not contain important measures for all schools, including those in the Independent sector. Budget funding for student mental health and wellbeing programs recognises the enduring importance of student welfare, especially in light of the impact on students of the stress and uncertainty caused by COVID-19 and natural disasters. In terms of funding, however, the budget announcements, made in the context of an imminent federal election, can be seen as additional confirmation that the Coalition has no plans for any fundamental changes to the way it funds non-government schools.
In 2023, Federal Government funding for Lowther Hall will in effect freeze as a consequence of the transition to the Direct Income Measure for determining school funding levels. The effect of this is that despite rising costs, a significant income stream for Lowther Hall will stand still. In anticipation of this situation, as part of the School’s new Master Plan, we made an application to increase enrolments from a maximum of 800 students to a maximum enrolment of 900 students from the start of 2023. This change will allow us to fill all year levels to capacity without needing to employ additional staff and will thus increase the School’s overall income due to the presence of more students. A total number of 900 girls, will mean that we remain a small enough school that all girls will be known and cared for and that programs can be tailored for specific groups.
We are delighted that more girls will now be able to take up the possibility of a Lowther Hall education and be part of our wonderful community!
Ms Elisabeth Rhodes